Washington (CNN) - Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus threatened Monday to try and prevent CNN and NBC from hosting 2016 GOP presidential primary debates unless both networks agreed to cancel forthcoming television specials about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
CNN and NBC, in separate statements, said they would move forward with the projects.
CNN's film unit has ordered a documentary about Clinton, who stepped down as secretary of state earlier this year after representing New York in the U.S. Senate and as first lady in the White House. The documentary is scheduled to air in 2014.
The statement from CNN said:
"CNN Films, a division of CNN Worldwide, commissioned a documentary about Hillary Clinton earlier this year. It is expected to premiere in 2014 with a theatrical run prior to airing on CNN. This documentary will be a non-fiction look at the life of a former First Lady and Secretary of State. Instead of making premature decisions about a project that is in the very early stages of development and months from completion, we would encourage the members of the Republican National Committee to reserve judgment until they know more. Should they decide not to participate in debates on CNN, we would find it curious, as limiting their debate participation seems to be the ultimate disservice to voters."
NBC has announced plans to run a miniseries with Diane Lane playing the role of the former first lady. The statement from NBC News said:
"NBC News is completely independent of NBC Entertainment and has no involvement in this project."
Priebus made the demands in separate letters to Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide, and Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment. In the letters, which were released to the public at around the same time they were sent to each network, the RNC chairman claimed these individual programs were an effort to "promote" Clinton in anticipation of a possible run for president. While supporters are taking steps to try and build an infrastructure should Clinton decide to seek the Democratic presidential nomination, she has not indicated whether she will run again.
"Their actions to promote Secretary Clinton are disturbing and disappointing," Priebus wrote. "I hope Americans will question the credibility of these networks and that NBC and CNN will reconsider their partisan actions and cancel these political ads masked as unbiased entertainment. If they have not agreed to pull this programming prior to the start of the RNC's Summer Meeting on August 14, I will seek a binding vote stating that the RNC will neither partner with these networks in 2016 primary debates nor sanction primary debates they sponsor."
In the 2012 GOP presidential primary election, CNN hosted seven of the 20 presidential debates, which were broadly viewed as helping lesser known candidates compete with better know, well-funded rivals. President Barack Obama did not face a primary challenge last year.
Photos: Hillary Clinton's career in the spotlight
I don't know why any debate should be on CNN...aside from their moderators interrupting the debate with incorrect information, no one watches them. FOX has far more viewers with a more diverse political background.
Republicans, you need to get rid of the Tea Party right wing nut jobs, until then, you will not win the White House
With two "Stop Hillary Now" non profits beginning and now Reince Priebus flipping out about anything about Clinton, me thinks they protest too much. Unless they have no candidates that can compete. Oops.
If the documentary is a detailed history of her public life, Republicans should be delighted. You have her White Water issues, her health care failure as first lady, her connection to questionable pardons during her husband's final days in office, her support of the Iraq war, and her failures as Secretary of State. Now I doubt that will be the track taken by CNN or NBC, but that is their right. The odd thing is that neither organization showed any interest in doing similar pieces on Colin Powell, Madeline Albright, or Condaleza Rice. All of these people marked a historical first in US politics, but we're ignored.
Terrible that a TV Channel would pick a story of a politian that is not GOP endorsed. After all, Fox is a real bipartisan channel to watch. ie: Republicans and/or Tea Party
Hahahaaaah 'Repubs Democracy' at work. What was this saying that money could by everything. While accusing the Obama Administration of muscling the media, then this. You can glaringly see just how far these people could go, just where the stream started. This also shows how American Rich avoided tax payments for decades now while subjecting the middle class & poor to carry the burden of funding American bills/budgets.
Go ahead and have your 'All Hail' Hillary movies, and we'll just watch the GOP debates on other stations. Hopefully, the GOP candidate won't debate the Dem on CNN and NBC either. The extreme bias of these two outfits is disgusting!
Nobody watches CNN and NBC anyway.
Bullying much, Rience?
As long as the movies include Whitewater, Bill's multiple infidelities, Bengahzi, and all of her other highlights, I think it's a great idea.
I'd hate to miss the GOP primary debates! The only thing comparable are those cage fights where biting and kicking are allowed.
If the GOP is a bunch of crybabies for not wanting to debate on CNN and NBC, what does that make Obama? He's only been on FOXNews once, about 4 years ago – he's afraid somebody might ask him an actual question.
CNN skating on thin ice, and this is not impartial reporting!
the media is liberal, what do you expect
Seriously? We are going to have a choice between Hillary and Donald Duck? America suck!
Wow. Now the GOP thinks they can dictate to the media what shows to run and what not to run? Based on who they think MIGHT be a presidential candidate? Here's what NBC and CNN should tell Preibus....'we won't cover your debates or convention'. After all, the GOP doesn't have a product worthy of prime time, unless it's on the Comedy Channel.
A Hillary movie? Are you kidding me? Is that the best you can do?
JJ, if Hilary is hated by so many people as you claim, how come the pugs are so afraid of her. I think you better check your facts besides from the Faux News.
Obama has taught you Liberals well about division. I did not like Bush, but he did not divide this country like this.
If Republicans boycott those channels to make a stand against media bias, then they have to boycott Fox News for their bias. Otherwise, Republicans will show themselves as unprincipled hypocrites.
This just goes to show how biased CNN and NBC are. If Hillary runs, how can you trust any news items that come out of these two networks. Why no other democrats or republicans?
The GOP is such a bunch of babies!! (I'd call them something else but my post would be blocked.)
They're always complaining about things like this. They did it last year before the release of Zero Dark Thirty too. That movie release was delayed just for them and they still lost, of course. Here's a clue GOPers: smarten up, pick better candidates and update your policies to the 21st century. Then maybe you can win on the national level again. These silly movies have nothing to do with it.
as far as moral's go she's on par with her husband !
Who cares? I'd rather watch the Hillary show. Although the RNC debates are good for a laugh.
That decision had already been made. GOP just found an excuse to justify it. There will be no CNN or NBC moderators for decades in future debates. No more softball questions. Hillary will be grilled for Benghazi and her performance being SECSTATE.